What is Universal Credit ?
Universal Credit is a new benefit for people of working age on a low income or out of work. It has replaced six existing benefits:
Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
Working Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit
Council Tax Support is not included in Universal Credit and claimants will need to make a separate application for this.
Universal Credit has been around in Neath Port Talbot since April 2015, but since October 2017 it has become more widely available.
It will now apply to couples and families when them make a new claim or when their circumstances change - for example, if they loose their job and have to claim Job Seekers Allowance.
Instead of receiving different benefits, claimants will now receive just one payment a month which will be paid in arrears and will cover all the benefits that they are entitled to.
The majority of payments will be made directly to the claimant as part of the Government’s drive to make people more responsible for their own money.
Further information is available at www.gov.uk/universal-credit.